Mississippi River reaches crest, local businesses say they’re thankful for 2023 flood mitigation efforts

Published: May. 1, 2023 at 8:11 PM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - The Mississippi River has reached its crest here in the Quad Cities, and although 2023′s levels did not surpass 2019′s levels, this flood will be one for the record books, even ranking in the top 10 Quad Cities Mississippi River record floods.

As the river reaches its highest level in the Quad Cities, one local business shares why they’re thankful for the flood mitigation efforts that the City of Davenport has put in place for the flood of 2023.

In 2019, the highest crest of the Mississippi was recorded at 22.7 feet, and this is when the Hesco barriers broke, causing major flood damage to numerous downtown Davenport businesses.

In previous years, according to hydrologist’s records the Mississippi River in the Quad Cities has seen similarly high-crest levels like in 1993 when the river reached 22.63 feet, and in 1868 when the river reached 22.0 feet.

But as for the flood of 2023, the Mississippi River will rank around the seventh or eighth spot for record flood levels, with the crest being at least, 21.51 feet.

This year, City of Davenport officials said that they took what they learned from the flood of 2019 to insure that the Hesco barriers could withstand 2023′s flood.

Front Street Brewery, a local business located along River Drive in Davenport, says that they’re no stranger to the Mississippi flooding, since the 30 years that they have been in business.

However, Front Street Brewery’s owners say that the flood mitigation efforts put in place by the City of Davenport after the 2019 flood have proven to be effective this go around.

“All we could do at that point was cross our fingers that they would work,” said Front Street Brewery Co-Owner. “And here we are in 2023 with nearly the levels of flood waters that we experienced in 2019, and I’m happy to say that both of our buildings have held up well and done exactly what they’re supposed to do. All the measures we took to mitigate potential damage, with or without a breach have proved to be successful and allowed us to stay open.”

But, just because the Mississippi River has reached crest-level does not mean that these businesses are in the clear, experts say. It will still take awhile, at least until mid to late May for the river to go down below flood stage.